More and more I’ve found myself deeply valuing my time spent exploring and gaining inspiration outside the Internet. This is not what a blogger, social media manager, web writer should say. Call me an old soul, but I remember the not-so-distant past when my creativity was constantly fueled by the world around me, not images on Instagram or quotes on Pinterest. I think I’m part of a confusing (or rather confused) generation who is both excited to be on the cutting edge of a grand new era of technology and who has a fond memory of a youth without said technology – a generation that continually grapples with their physical persona (outside the Internet) and their digital persona (on the Internet). I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I feel both blessed and cursed to know both sides.
Some people manage to be, say, 80% detached from the digital world. Sure these people probably have an email address and a cell phone, maybe a Facebook or LinkedIn account, but not much more. The rest of us call these people “disconnected.” I’ve made the accusation myself, namely because my boyfriend (oddly enough a web developer) is one of these people. And to him (and others with raw digital personas) I’ve defended blogs and social media hundreds of times, touting their widespread popularity (audience) and overall value (free to those who participate, lucrative to those who create) – they’re an integral part of our society, numerous industries, my life! I can confidently say I’m thankful for my experience in the blogosphere and on social media, but what happened to the experiences outside the Internet? The Instagram-able, Pin-able, hashtag-able experiences that supposedly make up this media? I can’t escape the technology completely – in fact it has quickly evolved into a very inescapable part of most of our lives – but I can slow down, take a step back, and remember there is still a beautiful world out there – it doesn’t just exist in images on the Internet.
Regardless of your level of engagement in the digital world, the Internet has a powerful influence on our lives. Time and time again, I’ve been influenced by other bloggers, digital media, friends and followers on social networks – so much so that every now and then, I lose track of where my digital persona ends and others’ begin. Sometimes you have to take a step back in order to move forward. So this February, instead of the digital world telling me “blog me,” “Instagram me,” “share me,” I’m calling the shots. I’m reconnecting with my unique digital persona. My blog and social media have been quiet for the past few weeks and will continue to be in the month of February as I pursue this introspective exploration of my digital self. Stay tuned, readers… MORE SOON.
Photography by Angie Webb Creative
We all have big plans for 2015, and we need somewhere to write them down and keep them organized. That’s why the best way to set yourself up for success in the New Year is to start with a new planner or agenda. I’ve used a number of different planners over the years in all sizes, layouts, and colors. I’ve also found that as my life has changed, my agenda has needed to change with it – from student to employed to self-employed – each has required a certain type of organization. However, the one thing that has never changed when shopping for a planner is finding one that is charming and inspiring. So, I’ve rounded up 5 perfect planners for 2015 to cater to all your scheduling needs. Plus, each planner is beautifully designed to suit your personal or professional style. Make 2015 the year you plan for success by organizing your time, tracking your progress, and dreaming big! Start the New Year with a fresh new agenda to write down your goals and aspirations for the year ahead!
1. THE BIG CALENDAR WEEKLY PLANNER, $24
Gain an outlook for the weeks and months ahead with The Big Calendar’s Weekly Planner. This hard-cover agenda with sweet floral watercolor design is sure to help you maintain an organized schedule in 2015! Includes yearly calendar, international holidays, notes pages, and monthly overviews upon request for no additional charge.
2. SARA PINTO WEEKLY PLANNER, $20
This Sara Pinto Weekly Planner is the most affordable of the planners showcased and features an assortment of three available patterns, including this unique and girly camo print. Includes three year snapshot view, monthly view, notes pages, weekly view, special days, future planning, and telephone/address section.
3. NINJ & NINJ WEEKLY PLANNER, $25
As a writer, I’m quite partial to this Ninj & Ninj Weekly Planner, which features a Shakespeare quote from a Midsummer Night’s Dream on the front cover: Though she be but little she is fierce. It’s also perfect if you’re petite like me! Includes 12-monthly weekly planning pages with notes section, 2015 and 2016 years at a glance, monthly overviews between each month, separeate notes pages, and storage pocket.
4. MAY DESIGNS AGENDA, $22
A friend gave me a May Designs Agenda a couple years ago, and I absolutely adored it. May Designs agendas are completely customizable – the planner pattern, monogram shape, typography, colors, and inner pages. If you want an agenda that absolutely suits your style and organizational needs, look no further than May Designs!
5. SHE PLANS TO DO LIST PLANNER, $36
I splurged on this ShePlans agenda for the New Year. If you know me, you know I’m a major maker of to-do lists, so this was the perfect planner for me to kick off 2015! Includes A LOT!
• Colorful laminated Monthly Tabs
• Notes Pocket in the back of the planner
• National holidays on both weekly & monthly pages
• 10 pages of notes (including a specific tab for notes) at the back of the planner
• A User’s Guide – great information on how I use my To Do List Planner
• Important Dates & Personal Goals for 2015, by month
• Gift Giving page to jot down ideas as they come to you throughout the year
• Holidays & Observances at a glance for 2015, 2016 & 2017
• 2015 & 2016 calendars at a glance
MONTHLY SPREADS include
• inspirational quotes & space to reflect upon those quotes
• large format calendar for maximum writing area
• national holidays
WEEKLY SPREADS include
• My MASTER LIST of things to do
• Monthly “at a glance” calendars for previous, current, and next month
• Moments that make this week special section to reflect on the week with gratitude
EACH DAY includes
• Today is Special section to note birthdays & celebrations
• Appointment times from 7:00am – 7:00pm
• Evening Plans for meal planning, late night practices, or anything you’d like to accomplish at night.
Please note: In order to celebrate the holidays with her family, Ashley (owner of ShePlans) only has printables available Dec 20th-28th. All planners will be available for sale beginning on the 29th. Ashley is awesome to work with, so feel free to send her a message if you need additional assistance purchasing your planner.
2015 is fast approaching. While it’s always a good time to reinvent yourself, the New Year is a particularly poignant occasion to do so. Perhaps you’re planning to look for a new job or pursue a new career in 2015. Maybe you’re hoping for a promotion at your current company in the New Year. Is 2015 the year you monetize your hobby into a serious side project? Have you been considering launching a blog? There are numerous reasons to think about renewal as a New Year draws near.
A portrait session is the perfect way to jump-start a new you for the New Year.
There was a time when portraits were primarily reserved for special occasions – think yearbook photos or family Christmas cards. No more! Anyone with some disposable income (or, hey, some Christmas cash) can afford a professional portrait and present a more polished image.
We live in a time when social media has given almost everyone a public persona, and sometimes it’s tough to say where personal ends and where professional begins. A social media photo is often the first impression you make, and more and more it seems an iPhone and an outstretched arm won’t suffice. Don’t you want an image that makes people stop and say, “maybe I want to look a bit closer,”?
If you’re ready to kick off the New Year with a new you, join Angie Webb of Angie Webb Creative for a Headshot Mini Sessions Event from 10:00am to 1:00pm on Saturday, January 10. Each session lasts 20 minutes, and you’ll get the opportunity to shoot with up to two different backdrops. Afterward, you’ll be able to view your proofs online and select two images to be fully retouched by Angie. This exclusive event is limited to eight slots, and space is filling up fast – register now!
BONUS – Complimentary Styling Consultation from Yours Truly
As a bonus, I’m offering complimentary styling consultations for those participating in the event. Once you register with Angie, connect with me to arrange an in-person or online styling consultation free of charge!
Who needs a headshot?
Anyone and everyone! Business professionals, small business owners, entrepreneurs, event planners, photographers, makeup artists, hair stylists, models, actors, students, fellow bloggers – people from all walks of life can benefit from a high-quality headshot.
Where can I use my headshot?
Again, the possibilities are endless – personal or professional social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, and so on), personal or professional websites (digital portfolios, personal blogs, your company’s website, etc.), job applications… believe me, you’ll get good use out of your headshot! I know I have!
Why would I need styling assistance for my headshot?
When you look good, you feel good – dressing well boosts your confidence. Many people feel they can’t afford to be stylish, but you can show your personal style without overspending (or spending at all). Sometimes all it takes is looking at your wardrobe with a fresh perspective – it can be as simple as accessorizing.
About Angie Webb Creative
Angie Webb is a brand designer and consultant who assists businesses and individuals in creating a visual look and feel for their brand. Angie’s services go beyond that of a typical designer with her holistic branding approach. First, Angie walks each and every one of her clients through an in-depth process of discovery to find out who they really are and how they want to portray themselves to the world. From there, Angie helps them create a visual identity and other supporting elements, including but not limited to photography, website design, and print materials. Her work doesn’t stop there! Angie then assists her clients in implementing their new identity and moving forward with their renovated brand. Through a clear and thorough process, comprehensive strategy, and coaching, Angie helps businesses and individuals succeed and thrive for the long term.
October is the Month of Movement on ARTicles of Clothing Blog, and today I’m sharing my second YouTube video featuring my activewear essentials and tips to keep moving this fall.
Although bikini weather is over and the temperatures are getting colder, it’s important to stay active.
This fall, swap a happy hour for a Yoga class with your girlfriends
try a romantic jog in the park for your next date night.
FEEL GOOD and LOOK GOOD this holiday season by staying active now!
I spent this past weekend in Milwaukee and attended a little blogging conference for Midwest bloggers. At the the first ever Blogger Bazaar Milwaukee I connected with fellow bloggers from Chicago, Minneapolis, Madison, and of course Milwaukee. One of the bloggers, Maya of Charmingly Styled, has launched a campaign today called #RealBloggerBeauty. Maya developed the idea for the project last winter at Moda Magazine’s University of Wisconsin Fashion Week Blogger Panel. As one of the featured bloggers on the panel, Maya was posed the question, “How would you use your influence [with your readers] to do something that supports a cause that’s important to you?” Her response was that “[she] would want to do something opposing the perfectionism that bloggers (and everyone) is striving to achieve by sharing personal and perfectly imperfect experiences.” Ultimately, what Maya is doing with the #RealBloggerBeauty campaign is starting a conversation among bloggers, women, and everyone about perfectionism and digital personas.
This conversation is very near and dear to my heart. Our generation, Generation Y, is the first generation to be faced with the challenge of creating a digital persona. Now, grappling with typical challenges like bullying and body image are no longer limited to our private journals. They are part of a public forum on the Internet and in social media. I feel both blessed and cursed to be a part of this generation. My job as a freelancer would look very different if the Internet and social media did not exist. ARTicles of Clothing Blog would not exist. In a way we are blessed with a medium that allows us to expose and discuss important topics instantly with anyone around the world. It’s really amazing when you actually think about the power of the Internet. But with great power comes great responsibility. As the first generation to embrace these digital platforms, we have been given the great responsibility to carve and shape them.
“No one’s life is always full of ‘Instagram-worthy’ moments, and it’s time to embrace the messes, insecurities, and struggles of life together.” – Maya, Charmingly Styled
What if the Internet and social media were places to truly showcase our authentic selves and connect with people? I believe this was the original intention behind the Internet and social media – to connect people in different cities, states, and countries who may never have had the opportunity to connect before. It’s unfortunate that a medium meant to connect has in some ways done the opposite and isolated us from being true to ourselves and making genuine connections. Do we have the power to change the trajectory of social media? My answer is yes.
In January, I urged you to set a goal to FEEL GOOD and LOOK GOOD in 2014 by making small changes to your everyday life to produce big results. Shifting the trajectory of social media is a lofty goal, so today, I’m starting with one small step by participating in and promoting the #RealBloggerBeauty campaign. My #RealBloggerBeauty moment is illustrated above through these images of myself over the past eight years.
The first two images depict me in the summer right after my high school graduation and in the fall of my freshman year of college. I gained about 20lbs my senior year of high school, the same year Facebook was launched worldwide. I may or may not have “looked good” at this time, but I certainly didn’t feel good. Yet, I slapped on a fake smile, and tried to create a persona that looked good and felt good on social media. The third image is me at my 21st birthday. I had devoted the summer before my 21st birthday to truly feeling good and looking good. I ended a toxic relationship, lost some weight, and chopped off my hair. I think this third image and the three that follow illustrate me genuinely feeling good and looking good. You probably recognize the final image from a photo shoot I did for ARTicles of Clothing Blog. For a long time I have defined myself as a writer. This is the primary reason starting a blog appealed to me. I’ve never viewed myself as a model or the face of a brand. The simple fact that I executed this photo shoot and showcased the images on a public platform for all the internet to see demonstrates how far I’ve come with my own digital persona over the past eight years.
No matter who you are – a blogger, a woman, everyone – I urge you to join in on the #RealBloggerBeauty campaign and promote the creation of genuine digital personas and connections.